Eagle River is located in Vilas County, Wisconsin. Vilas County is home to over 5,000 lakes, more lakes per square mile than almost anywhere on earth. In the late 1880’s and 1890’s, Eagle River experienced the birth of the Resort Era and a number of resorts were established on the chain of lakes and waterways within Vilas County.
In 1896, Fred Morey an Eagle River banker, resort owner, and avid fisherman, established the first resort built on the Eagle Rive chain of lakes. The resort consisted of a single, 2-story log building known as the “Main Lodge”. Morey built a second building on the property known as the “Clubhouse”, which became the hub for social gatherings, card games, cocktails and gambling prior to the completion of the Marina Bar. About a year later, a Chicago hotelier, Edward A. Everett purchased the resort, added 20 cottages and re-named the resort, “The Everett Resort”. In it’s prime, The Everett Resort employed over 20 resident fishing guides and even included a nine-hole golf course.
Vacationers frequently traveled to the Everett Resort by train from the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis areas year after year often spending entire summers in the Wisconsin North Woods. Many of the vacationers built or purchased summer homes on the Everett Peninsula which culminated into the creation of very tight-knit relationships among the travelers turned summer residents, that ultimately creating a community commonly referred to as the “The Everett Colony”.
In 1937, Byrd Henderson, CEO of Household Finance in Chicago, purchased The Everett Resort marketing and operating it as a resort and corporate retreat. With the expansion in highway infrastructure, automobile ownership which provided greater mobility and desire among vacationers to travel to multiple areas and explore restaurants and points of interest,the resort area experienced decline in what was known as The Resort Era. In 1952, The Everett Resort was sold at an auction and the 34 cottages were sold to the same families who often spent their summers vacationing in them.Today, fourth and fifth generational descendants continue to own the cottages and continue to year after year, spend their summers on the Everett Peninsula cherishing time and experiences with their children and grandchildren in the Everett Tradition.
The Everett Resort was the focal point for summer residents living along Catfish Lake, Cranberry Lake and on the the Everett Peninsula. In Wisconsin,during the thriving Resort Era, gambling was legal and slot machines were a common features at resorts, restaurants and bars until The Thompson Law was passed in 1946.
Edward A. Everett originally constructed wooden sidewalks, pathways that connected the lake’s shoreline cottages. The Pathways allowed residents to easily walk to the dining hall, stroll the lake shore and visit other neighbors and friends at their cottages. These pathways were considered an unspoken easement among The Everett cottage owners.
The Everett Resort’s “Columbine”, cottage which is situated next to the resort’s “Main Lodge” was utilized by Edward A. Everett and his wife, Helen, as their personal summer residence. President Dwight D. Eisenhower stayed in the Columbine cottage when frequenting the Everett Resort during the 1940’s. The name of the Columbine cottage was changed to “The Eisenhower” in 2018.
The Everett’s “Sunroom” also called “The Sun Parlor”, originally was utilized as The Everett Resort’s office, complete with a reception desk and wooden cubbyholes for guest mail and keys. The Everett Sunroom offers spectacular lake and sunset views over Catfish Lake through its 56 original windows and provides a 360 degree view of the entire Everett Resort property. The Everett Sunroom was always a popular venue for weddings, private parties and other special occasions and tradition continues today.
The Everett Resort, now known simply as “The Everett, is listed on The National Register of Historical Places.
Edward A. Everett employed 28 guides who lived in a building on the property referred to as the Guides Cottage. Guests would reserve their favorite guide at the Everett Office in the morning and by before noon the guide would be waiting for the guests with a picnic basket lunch in hand ready to head out onto the water for the day.
The Everett Resort
1269 Everett Road
Town of Washington, Vilas County
Date of Construction: c.1896 – c.1930
The Everett Resort is located on the Everett Peninsula, a narrow peninsula that separates Catfish Lake from Cranberry Lake, the largest and 2nd larges lakes on the Eagle River chain of lakes located in the heart of Wisconsin’s North Woods. During its peak, The Everett Resort was one of the largest and grandest American Plan resorts in the Eagle River area.
The Main Building, constructed c.1896, was the physical and social center of activity at The Everett Resort and between the 1920 – 1930, provided dining for up to three hundred guests each day. The Everett Resort’s Sunroom, Clubhouse, Gables, Eisenhower and Linen Room, and the resort’s Marina Bar were all constructed in the early twentieth century. The resort also constructed individual guest cottages along the shorelines Catfish and Cranberry lakes. The Everett Resort’s Rustic and Craftsman style buildings were built with logs, wood and stone, reflecting a strong relationship with their natural surroundings.
The buildings of the Everett Resort have been visual landmarks on the lake for generations of Eagle River residents and vacationers. The Everett Resort stands as a reminder of an American Plan Resort and the grand era of vacationing in Wisconsin’s North Woods. In 1951 after the decline of the Resort Era, the Everett Resort was divided up and sold. The main resort buildings and a few cottages remained as one parcel, while the majority of the guest cottages were sold to private owners many being guests who frequented The Everett Resort year after year. Today, the Everett Resort no longer operates as a full American Plan Resort. The Everett Resort was purchased in 2018 and underwent extensive renovation with great care being taken to honor and retain as much of the original structure and design while offering all new and modern amenities for guests. The resort name was changed to simply, “The Everett” and now operates as vacation rental resort.
* All excerpts were taken in part from the National Register of Historical Places The Everett Resort, Washington Township, Vilas County, Wisconsin Reference #08000982.
THE EVERETT, LLC
1269 Everett Road
Town of Washington, Vilas County
In 2018, The Everett Resort was purchased by James Constine and Teena Abraham and re-named as simply “The Everett”. The Everett operates as a multi-building vacation rental resort. The Marina Bar, located directly upon the shoreline of beautiful Catfish Lake is now open to the public once again for the first time in 25 years.
The Everett underwent extensive renovation in 2018/2019. The owners have taken great care to honor and retain as much of the original structure, design and character of each building while at the same time, offering guests all new and modern amenities. The Constine Family and The Abraham Family invite you to visit The Everett and marvel in its storied past as one of, Eagle River’s most beloved landmarks and to join us in creating the newest chapter in The Everett’s history to be enjoyed for generations to come!
To everyone who assisted in The Everett’s Revival … Thank You!